Water Sports

Whether you are on the water or in the water, eye protection is recommended. Sailing or other watercraft sports require protection from both direct sun and the glare of reflected rays. Swimmer, surfers and divers need to consider that water carries pathogens that can be harmful to the eyes and so well-fitting goggles/masks are advised.

If you swim, talk to us about swimming goggles with anti-fog coated lenses, which can even be made up to your prescription.

If you are a scuba diver it's easier and cheaper than you would think to get a mask made to your prescription.

water sports eyewear

Anyone who enjoys sailing should give careful consideration to the sunspecs that they choose. Being out on the water with so much reflected light requires, at the very least, the peace of mind that full ultra-violet protection gives.

Whether you are ultra-competitive or a more leisurely sailor the choice of lens colour is a key factor to the sunglass-wearing experience, with specific tints performing better in certain conditions.

Of all the light waves interacting with our eyes, those at the blue end of the light spectrum are the most powerful. The cones in the retina distinguish colour, and it is the blue light that dominates our vision, washing out our perception of other colours. By minimising this blue light and enhancing other colours, such as red and green, it is possible to improve visual acuity, though this does involve a distortion of colour. If the wearer does not mind an altered view of the world then there are many different lenses that will highlight certain colours and diminish others; which can be extremely effective in variable and low light conditions.

Polarised lenses are also a sensible and popular choice with sailors as this feature will eliminate glare from the surface of the water. It is important to be aware, however, that screens can appear black, and be unable to read, when viewing instruments with LCDs from a certain angle.

Although different colours perform better in different light conditions there is ultimately no right or wrong decision when it comes to choosing lens tints and Rawlings can offer many models with interchangeable lenses so that you are not restricted to one tint choice for all conditions.

Much of what is said above will also be relevant to rowers or canoeists. Water is highly reflective, impairing vision and creating an unnecessary distraction. Most water sports enthusiast’s suffer the added distraction of being hit by water spray and potentially high winds in a highly active environment. The correct specification of sunglasses can help to reduce these effects, improve performance and enable you to concentrate on the enjoyment of the sport. A good example of this would be a hydrophobic coating which causes any water to bead and run off the lens instead of sitting in blobs on the lens surface.

The importance of full UV protection cannot be over stated particularly for children and certainly where there is so much reflected light from the water.

Compared to their parents, children have larger pupils (allowing more light into their eyes), clearer lenses, and are outside without eye protection much more frequently and for longer periods than most adults.

Many parents take great care to ensure that their children have adequate UV block on their skin, and then totally ignore the eyes.

It is estimated that 80% of lifetime exposure to ultra-violet occurs by the age of 18 and that a child’s annual dose of UV radiation is three times that of adults.

To check that your vision is as clear as possible whatever your sport - book an eye examination with one of our Optometrists as well as seeing our dispensing team to discuss your sports eyewear requirements.